Kathryn Buchanan | Art Teacher | Gaston Elementary School

March 2022 - Why Art Matters

Art is an Expressive Tool

Art has always been my expressive tool, and I am good at it. As a little girl, I would play school, and be the art teacher. I shared my joy of creating art from an early age.

Fast-forward to today, and I love making art with my students and seeing them create new ideas from our discussions. Art is so much more than creating a finished product. Art can be many things to every person, regardless of their age, cognitive level, race, or socioeconomic status. Anyone can make art.

Art matters because art helps us express ourselves in a creative way that other forms of academics cannot. Art can be used to enhance any subject. Art develops fine motor skills, as well as encourages critical thinking. Art promotes problem-solving techniques that we do not get anywhere else. Art is a form of expression that affords us decision- making opportunities in various mediums.

But that is my opinion; let’s ask my student artists at Gaston Elementary Why Art Matters:

3rd Graders

London shared that art is “really beautiful and it's really fun. I love all the colors. I can learn how to use metallic paint and how to blend colors and how to mix them. I like the artists we talk about. I don’t paint at home, so I like that we can paint at school.”

Manuel agrees with London and states that “art stuff does not make me stressed. We learn about how to be creative.”

Khariya, Landyn, and Zaina all have fun creating art with Khariya adding, “I like to do art it makes me feel creative.” Landyn pointed out that art “helps society to help other people. It helps people in hospitals and we can deliver the art to them. It gives us practice to help us know what passion is.” Zaina added that “It’s fun and it's part of your life. If you are sad or don’t feel right you can do art to feel better.”

2nd Graders

Neveah, Gracie, and Griffin all believe that art is a fun way to express yourself with confidence. Neveah shared “we know how to draw everything. It is fun when we get to do stuff with all the materials. Gracie and Griffin chimed in with the benefit of doing art when you are young, “So when we grow up it is not hard to do art.”

1st Graders

First graders at Gaston love the opportunity to express themselves in their art class. They were so excited to share their thoughts on the importance of art including learning how to draw, color, and paint and making art for their parents and families which will make them happy. Rylynn also added, “if you want to be an artist when you grow older, then you can and know how.” Thank you, Kareli, Joaquin, Dylan, Bruno, Ava, Jordyn, Rylynn, and Jayce.

4K and Kindergarten Students

Our littlest artists shared their very insightful reasons for why art is important. Levi led the discussion with “because it makes your brain grow big and strong.” Cadence shared that it is also important “to learn to draw and practice coloring in the lines.” I did share that coloring outside the lines is also okay. Other student artists shared that art is fun, we get to make stuff, and you learn to draw. Thank you so much Camden, LeRoy, Ty, Levi, and Cadence.

Art Matters to our Students

I can talk all day about the benefits that art brings to each subject in school, but hearing first hand from my students is heartwarming. They look forward to art class. They express themselves in art class. They grow and learn.

As my student artists advance to the next grade level, I hope that I have instilled in them a love of the arts. Giving students the opportunity to express themselves through art is good for their physical and mental health. I encourage everyone to make art a part of your life and encourage a child in your life to do so too. Zaina put it best, “art is fun and a part of our life.” I hope you can make art a part of your life and keep it fun.

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